About Collaborative Arts

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Program Overview

The BFA in Collaborative Arts is a course of study designed for a diverse group of motivated, versatile, curious, and enterprising undergraduate students. Students in the Collaborative Arts BFA are required to practice and learn a variety of artistic disciplines as they explore the process of working together in groups. These students are seeking a curriculum and learning environment that has collaboration as its cornerstone and urges them to integrate the arts in their study and practice. Collaborative Arts students are trained to be creative and critical thinkers as well as innovative producers. The Collaborative Arts BFA appeals to students who are passionate about working in the arts across disciplines and are socially-conscious researcher/collaborators and entrepreneurial producers.


Degree Requirements

The core Collaborative Arts curriculum combines the investigative process and the creative process, requiring students to make art; undertake research; bridge subjects, ideas and disciplines; raise awareness; address problems; and activate their communities. Students are introduced to the process of artistic collaboration on day one and continue to experiment with collaboration as they gain skills in dramatic writing, acting, dance, filmmaking, digital design, web based media or photography. Throughout their course of study, students immerse themselves in the practice and study of collaboration, experimenting with and gaining skills in co-creation and shared authorship as they move along.

Candidates earning the Tisch Open Arts Collaborative Arts BFA must fulfill the following requirements:

56 Major Credits in Studio Training
18 Major Credits in Studies Across the Arts Disciplines
32 General Education Credits
22 Elective Credits

Students finish with enough credits in the above four areas to total 128 credits.

Four Year Sequence

Sample four year trajectory for Collaborative Arts students. For years 2-4, students choose their class sequences (which vary from the example presented below)

Year 1

Beginning in their first year, students in the B.F.A. in Collaborative Arts are introduced to concepts in traditional and arts-based research, theories of group development, and historical and current cinematic, performing and emerging media arts collaborations. Students are also exposed to professional artists’ research and production processes for making meaningful work. Continuing in their first year, Collaborative Arts students engage in required core training in multiple forms of storytelling, including: visual, digital, text-based and performance/movement. This first year lays the groundwork for further collaboration.

Required Courses: Year 1

FALL SEMESTER

 

SPRING SEMESTER

 

Course

Credits

Course 

Credits

Collaborative Arts Workshop I 6 Research Matters 4

Visual Language & Storytelling (film & media production)

3

Movement Language & Storytelling (dance and movement)

2

Performative Language & Storytelling (acting, embodied performance)

2

Written Language & Storytelling (dramatic writing)

4

Digital Language & Storytelling (computer & web-based media)

3

 

 

 

Year 2 / Year 3

In their second and/or third years, students work together in Collaborative Workshops, to investigate and research cultural and/or global perceptions, beliefs and traditions. These semester-long workshops provide students with a platform for discussing, refining, and testing ideas. B.F.A. students engage in ongoing training through tiered courses across the arts disciplines to support their work in Collaborative Workshops. In years 2 and 3, B.F.A. students choose courses in a minimum of two areas of study and practice among the visual, digital, text-based, performance, or movement fields.

Required Courses: Year 2 and Year 3

Course 

Credits

Collaborative Arts Workshop II

6

Collaborative Arts Workshop III

6

Major Practice (Tier I)

12

Major Practice (Tier II)

4

Major Studies

8

Producing Essentials

4

Art Matters

2

Year 4

The final year of the degree program is a capstone project comprised of Thesis I and II, in which students pursue research questions in a year-long group project of their choice. In this capstone year, students form working groups to research and investigate an issue of local and/or global resonance. Working as a collaborative team, students then apply their research towards an artistic response to that issue. Each working group is assigned a faculty project advisor who will support their collaborative capstone. Students present their final creative projects and research to the Collaborative Arts community and, as a group, defend their creative projects to a panel of faculty at the conclusion of the capstone year.

Required Courses: Year 4

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Thesis I (research seminar) Thesis II (lab and evaluation)

Required Major Studio Training (56 credits)

The following studio training courses are required for the major. 16 credits of required studio training are chosen by students from the Open Arts practice-based courses based on their interests. 

Collaborative Arts Workshop I, II, III

18 credits (Required courses)

Collaborative Workshops provide creative spaces for BFA students to dialogue and create work utilizing all areas of interdisciplinary arts training. This series of three intensive lecture/seminar and studio classes engages students to work together in groups to explore different topics or themes generated by students and instructors from across the arts disciplines/mediums.

Through weekly written submissions, class dialogues, workshop exercises and group productions/presentations, students learn to navigate their different discipline specific interests as well as personal artistic perspectives to develop and produce co‐created, cohesive work.

Digital Language & Storytelling

3 credits (Required course)

This course provides an overview of digital and interactive storytelling, integrating a fast- track introduction to basic practical hardware and software security with an introduction to the concepts of visual design and text/image relationships. Early forms of interactive media are explained in relation to the development of computer based digital art and media formats. The essential nature of digital language and storytelling is examined by analyzing how the digital artist targets a particular type of audience, posts their digital language/art/story - and then responds to audience replies and audience data. This response can then, in turn, become a continuation and enhancement of their digital storytelling.

Movement Language & Storytelling

2 credits (Required course)

The course uses a somatic approach, focusing on the experienced body rather than the objectified body, utilizing sensing and feeling as the basis for movement expression. Physical technique is based on experiencing the body as it is, utilizing somatic tools of conscious breath, sound/vibration, visualization and moving through space based on sensing and feeling. Specific vocabularies of experiential anatomy and developmental movement will be offered as forms for self‐ exploration and creating shared movement vocabularies. 

Performative Language & Storytelling

2 credits (Required course)

This class introduces students to the fundamental elements of acting through improvisation, theater games, applied viewpoints and basic scene study. The class will always begin with a simple physical and vocal warmup. For example ‐ one that combines basic yoga forms and rudimentary Linklater based voice work. As the class moves into working with scripted material the class structure would still include various theater games.

Visual Language & Storytelling

3 credits (Required course)

An overview of the development of visual storytelling throughout history. From the first creation of early hand drawn cave paintings to modern film production, all the essential elements of visual representation, visual imagery, visual grammar, and visual storytelling are explored. The course examines how the basic tools of traditional narrative storytelling are also used in purely visual storytelling - to create a secondary world and to maintain a suspension of disbelief in order to inform, entertain, and affect the audience.

 

Written Language & Storytelling

4 credits (Required course)

This class is designed to help students analyze mediums of dramatic writing including plays, screenplays and television scripts. Plot and character development, dialogue, action, conflict, events and overall story will be examined. It highlights how meaning is made in an active mimetic form rather than as an integrated experience of script, performance, directing, designing, editing and other elements of the medium.

Thesis I & Thesis II

8 credits (Required courses)

In this course, students form year‐long working groups to investigate an issue of local and/or global resonance to which they plan to respond as a collaborative team through their final semester. The first half of the semester students develop group literature reviews based on different aspects of the group’s chosen research issue/question. The second half of the semester, student groups develop an outline and formulate a project proposal, including budget, resource needs, production schedule and rationale for practical application of the research issue/question. This practical application/creative response is then realized in the final semester of study.

Open Arts Practice-Based Courses

16 Credits

Tier I

Tier I studio training courses are foundational Open Arts practice-based courses across the arts disciplines. All practical training/studio courses listed on the Open Arts course offerings website are Tier I courses unless specified as Tier II. Open Arts courses are open to any NYU student, so Collaborative Arts majors engage with students from various majors, artistic backgrounds and experience levels. Majors are required to complete a minimum of 12 credits of Tier I training and a minimum of 4 credits of Tier II training. Students must choose tiered training courses from at least two different disciplines (e.g drama and film; dance and media).

Please note, for students who are interested in studio art, up to four credits of Tier I training can be chosen from within the Steinhardt Studio Art course offerings should they remain open at registration.

Tier II

Tier II studio training courses are intermediate or second-level Open Arts practice-based courses across the arts disciplines. All Tier II practical training/studio courses are labeled on the Open Arts course offerings website. Almost all Tier II courses have a pre-requisite to enroll, please refer to the course description for details. Open Arts courses are open to any NYU student, so Collaborative Arts majors engage with students from various majors, artistic backgrounds and experience levels. Majors are required to complete a minimum of 12 credits of Tier I training and a minimum of 4 credits of Tier II training.

Required Studies Across the Arts Disciplines (18 credits)

The following studies courses are required for the major. 8 credits of required studies across the arts disciplines are chosen by students from the Open Arts courses, based on their interests.

Producing Essentials

4 credits (Required course)

This course provides an analysis on the role of the producer in the entertainment industry, focusing on the pitch proposal to bring an idea from fruition to completion. At the completion of this course, the student will have a framework and vocabulary for the role of the producer, know the tools necessary to create both a written and verbal pitch proposal, and understand the craft of producing within different mediums.

Research Matters

4 credits (Required course)

This course provides a foundation in creative research methods by examining the range of concepts, theories and praxis of artists and other knowledge producers. Beginning with an overview of the research landscape, including traditional academic research models followed by a series of creative (or artistic) research case studies, this course will address key questions such as, What is creative research in the context of contemporary art practice and why is it important? How do artists define their research, and what social, cultural and political ideas influence them? What roles do collaboration, inter‐disciplinarity and audience play in how artists formulate their research strategies? How do artists gauge their results and what are the markers or processes for verification? How do the findings of creative research contribute to new knowledge applicable to a variety of disciplines?

Art Matters

2 credits (Required course)

This course invites Tisch Artists in Residence and guest instructors/visiting artists from across the arts disciplines into the classroom to share insights about their work, including their methods, successes, and challenges, as well as their relationship with their community, workspace, collaborators, and audiences. The visiting artists are prompted to address what matters to them as artists and scholars and global citizens; questions are posed, including: what are the ways artists respond to the matters that affect their communities? What role do they play in raising issues of resonance/urgency and what are the challenges to affecting change through artistic research and practice? Each week the visiting artist engages with a series of questions pertaining to the “matters” of making work and the significance of why their work “matters”.

OPEN ARTS STUDIES COURSES

8 credits

Studies courses are theory or lecture-based Open Arts courses across the arts disciplines. Open Arts courses are open to any NYU student, so Collaborative Arts majors engage with students from various majors, artistic backgrounds and experience levels. Majors are required to complete a minimum of 12 credits of Tier I training and a minimum of 4 credits of Tier II training. Students must choose tiered training courses from at least two different disciplines (e.g drama and film; dance and media).

Please note, for students who are interested in studio art, up to four credits of Tier I training can be chosen from within the Steinhardt Studio Art course offerings should they remain open at registration.

Required NYU General Education Courses (32 credits)

Expository Writing

8 credits

(through TSOA's Department of Art and Public Policy):
8 credits required for Freshmen; 4 credits for Transfer students. *See “Expository Writing” for full policy.

Humanities

8 credits

Two courses for a total of 8 credits from one or more of these areas:
Art History, Classics, Comparative Literature, East Asian Studies, English (except Dramatic Literature), European Studies, French*, German*, Hellenic Studies, Irish Studies, Italian*, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Music (history not theory), Philosophy, Portuguese*,Russian and Slavic Studies*, Spanish*, or other areas as defined in the General Education Guide for NYU Tisch Drama Students

*See “Foreign Language Policy” on how to receive Humanities credit.

Sciences

8 credits

Two courses for a total of 8 credits from one or more of these areas:
Animal Studies, Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Child & Adolescent Mental Health Studies, Computer Science, Economics, Environmental Studies, Journalism (history or theory, not skills), Law and Society, Linguistics, Mathematics, Neural Science, Physics, Politics, Psychology, Sociology, or other areas as defined in the General Education Guide for NYU Tisch Drama Students.

Balance of Liberal Arts

8 credits

Additional credits of Humanities and/or Science to reach the minimum General Education requirement of 32 credits.

Required NYU Electives (22 credits)

Any NYU course can count as an Elective except those offered through the School of Professional Studies (SPS).

Minors

Students majoring in Collaborative Arts can also minor in an area of specialization. Minors can be in the humanities, social sciences, languages, or other arts (subject to policies governing minors in those respective departments). To learn more about the CAS minors and Tisch minors open to Collaborative Arts majors, visit their website.s

Study Abroad

Tisch and Open Arts believe that global and cultural awareness is critical to education and personal development, and the B.F.A. in Collaborative Arts encourages students to study abroad while completing their degree. The curriculum is designed to allow students to spend a semester (or an entire year) abroad while earning core, general education or elective credits. Visit NYU Study Abroad or Tisch Special Programs to learn more about study abroad opportunities at NYU.